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Exchanged some email with the president of Garage Games, and finally broke down and licensed the Torque engine. After talkin’ with him, I realized they have a very similar idea of how things should operate as myself, so I think we’ll get along fine. They are obviously looking for more titles they can start shipping come May (I won’t have any in there… I think. I’d have to kick some serious ass to make it by then with ANYTHING.), and point blank told me I should be doing Jumpman: 2049 in Torque. I don’t nessisarily believe him on that, but he’s a business man trying to get more content and titles to prop up thier business model. The fact that he’s actively trying is what makes the difference in my mind – the more titles they have, the more traffic they have, the better thier marketing system will work, etc.
However – I’m going to have to do some really strange shit to make it work for what I want. Torque is actually much better suited for Barnyard Battles or Jumpman: 2049 than it is for my puzzle games. But I’m gonna adapt Boulder Panic!, Tile Panic!, and Gremlin Panic to the new engine, in that order probably, just for practice with it. Plus I’ll have pulled off some interesting tricks for that to work – one of the interesting parts of the agreements is that as I contribute back into the Torque engine it increases my split of profits from my games. Considering I’m probably going to write multiple new modules just to handle 2D game displays, I’ll end up contributing all sorts of new options to Torque.
Now for the downsides. Torque isn’t really as ready for primetime as I’d like to see it be. Documentation is weak at the moment (they use dOxygen to generate documentation from code) and some of the tools are lacking. I’d also like to see more demos and more examples. But, it’s nothing insurmountable – there’s a lot of stuff that I can either do in code and recompile, or, I can adjust thier scripts to do what I want. (In fact, for Jumpman, script adjusting will be a cinch. For puzzle games, well, I have to TRASH thier scripts almost completely. Kinda funny really.)
Oh, and Erik if you are reading this – I’ve got a couple o’ new ideas for this based off what I’ve seen so far. We can do some seriously interesting shit with Barnyard Battles if ya want to. Drop me an email when ya get a chance.
All things considered, I think this is going to work great. I won’t be limited by the language anymore (since I typically favor VB over C++, but, this requires I do everything in C++), and I won’t be limited by the engine like normal since I’ve got source both for the scripting system and for the engine it’s self (BTW, the engine as it stands is over 200,000 lines of code. I’m sure there’s alot like the scenegraph that I’ll never touch, but, knowing there’s 200k lines of code that I might potentially need to hunt down a bug in is a very daunting thought.
And as with everything, there are quirks. Right now, performance on my work desktop machine (Dual PIII-400, 512MB RAM, Matrox G400 DualHead) is much worse than my smaller home machine (Dual PII/266, 384MB RAM, NVidia TNT (1)) The work machine SHOULD blow my home machine outta the water, but it doesn’t. Direct3D doesn’t work on a TNT, but OpenGL does quite nicely – go fig, since that’s not NORMALLY the case with most engines.
They are still developing on Torque – so any bugs I see I need to report, and let them fix. Yet another new proceedure – since I’ve always been my own engine developer, I normally just hack around on it and fix it. But in this case, I need to tell them so they can fix it for everyone and put it in the official code base.
So much fun. One other odd thing, in my mind, is that I’m not working with code directly most of the time. I’m so used to screwing with the source. But I shouldn’t. Instead, I should first investigate the scripts for it, THEN look at the actual source code as a last resort. So many process changes for me it’s not even funny. But there are also so many upsides to doing it. At least I’m not an old dog who can’t learn new tricks 🙂
200,000 lines of code. My god.

darkswan 

2002-03-31 12:39 am UTC (from 206.71.125.132) (link)  Select

I tried to email but something went wrong. so email me tyhose ideas or I’ll just call you tomorrow.

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midnightryder 

2002-03-31 10:26 pm UTC (from 65.30.22.76) (link)  Select

Sorry – was busy being very lazy today. I’ll drop you some email tomarrow with details of what I’ve been thinkin’

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